Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘lace’ Category

Christmas Knitting in Full Swing

Posted by notthatkat on December 14, 2007

The mad dash of Christmas knitting continues. While I deliberately chose not to knit any big items (sweater, big lace, afghan, etc) for anyone this year, I have made little things for everyone in my family.

The clogs were finished Friday night. At least the knitting was finished. Before felting they looked like this (my size 8 foot added for scale):

Unfelted Clogs

After about 20 minutes in the washing machine, they had shrunk down to the proper size:

Felted Clogs

These are the Felt Clogs from Fiber Trends that practically everyone and their brother has knit (at least it seems like practically everyone in the knit blogosphere has knit them at least once or twice). These are quick and easy and come out just great. That Bev Galeskas, she’s a genius, I tell you.

These are for my Dad. I was going to give the bottoms a non-stick treatment, but I think I’ll wait and make sure they don’t need to be felted down a bit more before doing so. I erred on the side of possibly being a smidge too big on the theory that they could always be shrunk down a bit more if need be.

Dashing

Then on Saturday, I started a pair of Dashing mitts for my brother-in-law. These are a quick and easy knit, and look so nice. They are knit out in Moda Dea Washable Wool in Taupe. I shortened the cuff by a cable repeat (10 rounds) as I felt the length of the cuff as written wouldn’t appeal to the recipient.

Dashing

I made a dog sweater out of this yarn last year and was surprised by how much I liked it. It has a soft hand, a nice drape, and holds up fairly well. The cabled construction makes stitch work show up very well. And machine washability is an important consideration in my sister’s household. Big thanks to Khebhin for his input on color and letting me use his arm for sizing on Saturday.

Merino Tencle Lace Weight Redux

At my fiber guild meeting on Sunday, I started the second bobbin for my merino tencel lace weight. (This is the yarn I’m spinning for Spun Stitches, if you’re new or don’t remember.) I enjoyed the break I took from it, but I’m looking forward to getting this yarn done. This is how much I managed to spin over the course of the three hour guild meeting. I haven’t managed to spin any more. Hopefully I will make more progress over the weekend. However, no matter how much I want to finish, I still have a ways to go for this. I am not a production spinner in general, but spinning this fine takes extra care and attention and the first bobbin felt like it took forever. Here’s hoping I can get the second one done more quickly.

Alpaca Cloud

A bit of stash diving turned up some lovely grey Alpaca Cloud and I found some nice beads to pair with it. They are clear, but black lined and although I’m not sure they look as good in the picture as in person, they look so great with this yarn. I have lots more of this yarn and might have to use this yarn/bead combination again. On Tuesday night I cast on Ice Queen for my Mom.

Ice Queen

She is almost done. I’m adding a bit of extra length (16 rounds) as she seemed a bit short when I had completed the main part as instructed. I know she’ll grow once blocked, but I’d rather have her a bit on the long side than too short. I am making the garter stitch version, mostly because I like the bead placement better for that one. When I make one for myself, I might make the stockinette stitch version, but use the bead placement from the garter stitch one.

Ice Queen Closeup

Here’s a close up of the beads on the lace. It’s a simple feather and fan pattern and it has gone pretty fast. I love this pattern to an embarrassing degree and could see making several more down the road.

Once Ice Queen is done, I will have only one more item remaining in my Christmas knitting queue – a sweater for my sister’s family dog, a Jack Russell named Lucy.

Lucy

This is Lucy modeling last year’s Christmas sweater (the one made with the Washable Wool) I make her a sweater every year for Christmas, of original design. I started several years ago when Marie commented on how difficult it is to find sweaters or coats to fit her. Typical of her breed, she has a very deep chest relative to her length. Sweaters that fit her chest tend to be too long, while those that fit her length tend to be too tight. This one was a big hit with both Lucy and the family. I have some more of this yarn in Raspberry for this year’s sweater, but I haven’t even begun to think about what I want to do with it. Oh well, I have a bit over a week to figure it out and get something worked up.

Then it’s back to my neglected Thermal and Bee Fields. They have been patiently waiting their turns to come around again. Soon, my pretties… soon.

Posted in Christmas, Dashing, felt, Ice Queen, knitting, lace | 2 Comments »

*Cough, cough, wheeze, hack*

Posted by notthatkat on December 7, 2007

I woke up Tuesday morning  and there was no denying – I am sick.  Nothing serious, I think, but rather than the typical head cold this has manifested as a sore throat and cough.  Most of the week has been spent just getting by – I spent most of my day off in bed, and the rest of the time it’s pretty much been work and bed.

I have managed to get some knitting done, as I sit or lie in bed and watch TV and count down until I can take more cold medicine.

Branching Out

I managed to get the Branching Out scarf I made for my sister done on Wednesday, although I didn’t manage to get it blocked until this evening.

Branching Out Center

I worked both sides out from a central provisional cast on, rather than working it end to end as the pattern calls for.   I love how it came out, and may have to make this one again.

Branching Out Close

One more picture, because who can resist the magic of blocking? The yarn is Knit Picks Shadow in Lost Lake, a lovely deep heathered green.  I knit this on 4.0 mm (US6) needles rather than the 5.0 mm (US8) called for in the pattern, since I was using laceweight yarn rather than DK.  The scarf ended up being 5″ wide by 64″ long, which I think is quite a respectable length for a lace scarf.

Anyone in my Fiber Guild who doesn’t want to ruin the surprise for the Yankee Trade Sunday best look away now…

They gone?

Good.

Next I knit a couple dishcloths to be used as part of my Yankee Trade gift on Sunday.  I’ll add a couple bars of home made soap to these and will feel good about my contribution to the gift exchange.

Lacy Dishcloth

This is the first one I knit and I like it so much, I just may have to knit one for myself.

Lattice Discloth

Next I knit up this one.  It has a neat little double lattice, and the texture will make it good for dishes, but the pattern is a bit fussy and I didn’t love knitting it.  I’m not sure this one’s gonna get repeated any time soon.  Both of these are knit in Sugar n Cream on 5.0 mm (US8) needles.  I’ll find pattern links and put them up when I update my FO page (soon, but not tonight).

As if that weren’t enough, I cast on a pair of felted clogs for my Dad for Christmas.

Unfelted Clog

The first one has been completed, but not yet felted.  Although I didn’t include anything in the picture for scale, believe me when I say it’s ginormous.  If I hadn’t felted a fair bit already, including several pairs of slippers, I would be leery about these shrinking enough to fit.  But I have confidence.  The second clog is barely started, but these are a quick knit so I’m not too worried.

Didya see the smoke ring in the new Knitty?  My Mom might just be getting one of these for Christmas it I don’t run out of time (otherwise, her birthday is in February).  I’m going stash diving tonight, then on a bead hunt after work tomorrow.  Now I’m off to see how well I can knit clogs on narcotic cough syrup.

Posted in Branching Out, Christmas, FO, lace, WIP | 3 Comments »

Nothing to Knit

Posted by notthatkat on October 23, 2007

I finished my Clapotis on Friday as expected and blocked it on Saturday I haven’t managed to get a good modeled picture, so this one will just have to do for now:

Clapotis

I only added a couple repeats to the straight section, and the finished wrap came out toabout 70 inches post blocking. I didn’t pin it out or stretch it too extremely during blocking; just generally pulled the edges even and flattened out any excessive curling and I think it looks great!

The yarn was a bit splitty, and there were some ugly joins I had to mess with, but overall I liked it, and would use it again if the right project presents itself.

So I found myself this weekend with almost nothing on the needles. The full accounting was the following:

1. My MS3, which is enjoying a time out while I work through my mixed feelings about the wing v/s symmetrical. I had about decided to go symmetrical, then I wavered. I will probably be the last knitter who started with the rest of the pack to finish, but I will get it done. I just need to decide how I want to do it.

2.

Bamboo Top

This mess, which was on its way to becoming a Lots of Choices Top from The Knitting Experience: Book 1. I started this last year about this time. Then I put it aside to work on Christmas gifts. I worked on it a bit more in January, but it’s a summer top, and the weather was cold-ish and my motivation was low. Since about the end of January, I haven’t worked a stitch on it. For a while it rode in the bottom of my knitting bag, from which it radiated guilt every time I got down to that level. A couple months ago, I took it out to make room for other projects. I think it comes down to – I just don’t like the pattern. It’s knitting up nice enough, but there’s not enough going on to stimulate my interest. Garter stitch, with the slipped stitches taking place on the back, where you can’t really see them that well. I think this one is destined to the frog pond, which is a shame, but I love this yarn (Plymouth Royal Bamboo) too much to let it languish too much longer. I just need to find the right pattern to show it off to it’s best advantage. Any suggestions? (the yarn is silky and shiny, but has no sproing factor)

3. There is no 3

Thus, I needed to start not one, but a few new projects, so I would have knitting available for every knitting occasion.

I made a couple more swatches last week:

Thermal Swatch

Everyone who sees this swatch comments on it. It is for Thermal, which I planned to make, oh, about a nanosecond after I first saw the pattern. I love it, but I am thinking about raising the neckline a bit, so that I can wear it by itself or layered depending on the weather. It’s so light, I think it could be a three season top so long as the neckline allows for a bit of modesty without needing a tee shirt or camisole underneath. I got stitch gauge using a 3.5 mm (US4) needle, but my row gauge is a bit off. Since the body of the sweater is knit straight, I’m planning to recheck my gauge once I get a bit of length on it, the sit down and figure out if I need to recalculate for sleeve shaping.

Thermal

I cast on Saturday night, and have gotten this far. I’ve barely started the patterning, but so far I’m loving the yarn and the fabric I’m getting.

Cloud 9

I also made this swatch for an Elizabeth Bennet Cardigan out of Fitted Knits. This was one of those rare occasions where I actually got gauge with the recommened needles and yarn. I got this yarn from Webs on closeout of discontinued colors (they still have a few colors left, btw). This will probably be my next sweater project.

Bee Fields

Next up, I (finally) cast on Bee Fields. If you’ve been here a while, you may recall that I bought this yarn (Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in Honey) without a specific project in mind. I saw it and had to have a skein. I wanted one of the more subtly variegated colorways, since I think subtle is best for lace if one uses variegated at all. The two colorways they had that fit what I wanted was this one and one in blues. I was feeling in a bit of a color rut, so I went against the obvious (for me) choice and this one came home with me. When Anne started working on a bee themed shawl pattern, I immediately thought of this yarn, and have just been waiting until my decks were clear enough to cast it on.

Maine Morning Mitts

Finally, I started a pair of Maine Morning Mitts(pdf link) from The Knitter’s Book of Yarn. I had a single skein of Sheep Shop Sheep 1 marinating in my stash, that I bought just to try it out, but hadn’t found a pattern, and didn’t want to just make a swatch. When Clara released this pattern on Knitter’s Review a couple weeks ago, I knew I had found my pattern. I had a chance to look through the book this weekend, and wholeheartedly agree with all the positive reveiws I’ve read for it. The book as comprehensive a reference as I’ve ever seen on different types of fibers and how yarn is constructed and everything else you ever wanted to know about yarn but didn’t know who to ask. Oh, and there’s also some patterns (40). And the only reason it didn’t come home with me was that it’s going on my Christmas Wish List. If no one gifts me with it, I’ll get it for myself after the holidays.

Posted in Bee Fields, Clapotis, FO, lace, Maine Morning Mitts, Thermal | Leave a Comment »

Whew!

Posted by notthatkat on September 27, 2007

At long last, done!

I finished the knitting part late Tuesday night, but saved the grafting for Wednesday morning when I was fresh.

Not quite seamless

After three attempts, I still wasn’t able to manage a completely invisible join, but I decided it was good enough.

Off the needles

Here it is, off the needles, before blocking. Now it’s time for a bit of magic.

A Good Soak

It got a really good soak because after many months on the needles, despite being careful and no accidental spills (and only the one round on the floor with the puppies) boy, was it dirty! I let it soak for a good hour followed by 4 rinse baths. Why? Because the water was still looking dirty after the second one and it took two more to get all the soap out.

Blocking

The angle of this picture makes it look more rectangular, but it’s pretty square. I did allow the edges leading up to the corners to curve in a bit trying to get a more rounded corner.

Center

The center is done in Diamond Fantasia from Barbara Walker’s Third Treasury

Border

The border came out of my own fevered brow. It arose from the desire to add some white space around the center for a visual rest. It came out pretty much as I imagined.

Edging

The edging was cobbled together from several different sources then swatched and tweaked until I though it was just right.

Christening Blanket

Cristening Blanket - Shawl option

While it was conceived as a christening blanket, it could also be used as a shawl (wedding shawl. perhaps?) It was started with the intention of selling it when I was done. I’ve since come to the conclusion that I cannot sell it, and probably no one would pay me enough to compensate for the time put in. So instead I’m making it a family heirloom, to be passed on to my niece when she gets married.

ETA:  Big thanks to Whitney for agreeing to model this outside in our still 90+ degree heat 

Posted in christening blanket, FO, lace | 6 Comments »

Home Stretch

Posted by notthatkat on September 24, 2007

76 repeats done, 8 to go.

Anyone have any pointers on how to graft faggot lace seamlessy? I think I’ll play around with my edging swatch before I try on the real thing. These seven little stitches have me rather stymied. “It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.”

Soon, my precious… very soon.

Posted in christening blanket | Leave a Comment »